Troup’s Thrash one of state’s best

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Daily News

With a combination of speed, football smarts, great hands, and a strong will, Troup’s Jamari Thrash was an unstoppable force during the 2017 season.

On an offense that was among the most prolific in the state with all-state quarterback Montez Crowe tossing the ball all over the field, Thrash had a remarkable season as a wide receiver.

Thrash had 61 catches for 1,410 yards, an impressive average of 23 yards per reception, and he scored 18 touchdowns.

Thrash was one of the top wide receivers in the state, and his numbers were particularly noteworthy considering how many talented men were catching balls for Troup.

Six other players were in double figures in receptions, including Kobe Hudson, who had nearly 1,000 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns.

“He’s right there in the top three or four (in the state),”

said Kelby Holt, Troup’s offensive coordinator. “And when you look at their numbers vs. our numbers, they had one receiver, where we had four receivers catching the ball.”

Not surprisingly, Thrash has been selected as a member of the Class AAAA preseason all-state team by Recruit Georgia.

Thrash is joined by two of his teammates on the all-state team.

Senior defensive linemen Joko Willis and King Mwikuta also earned a place on the all-state team.

Those same three players also made the Georgia High School Football Daily preseason all-state team that was released this week.

Thrash transferred to Troup from LaGrange for his sophomore season, and he has made a massive impact.

During his junior season, Thrash caught 36 passes for 541 yards and six touchdowns while helping Troup go 8-3 after finishing with a 1-9 record in 2016.

Last year, Thrash broke out in a major way, with at least one touchdown reception in nearly every game, and he finished the season by catching 12 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in a second-round playoff loss to St. Pius X.

Five times during the season Thrash had two or more touchdowns in a game, and he had six games with at least 100 receiving yards.

“It’s like video-game numbers,” Thrash said last week with a wry grin.

While Troup’s offense should continue to sizzle this season, even without Crowe, Thrash’s numbers could dip a bit.

That’s inconsequential to Thrash, whose primary concern is making the most of his senior season from a win-loss standpoint.

“I want to win championships,” Thrash said. “As long as we win, that’s what matters.”

Thrash will be catching passes from someone new this season, perhaps fellow wide receiver Kobe Hudson.

Hudson, who has been one of the state’s most explosive wide receivers for two years, has been working at quarterback during the spring and summer.

Nearly everyone else returns, so Thrash expects the offense to keep on cruising.

“It’s going to be tough with Montez gone,” Thrash said. “I don’t think we’re all the way like we were last year, but it’ll come together and we’ll play as a championship-caliber team.”

Not surprisingly, Thrash has drawn interest from numerous college programs, and he recently unveiled his top five schools, Troy, UNLV, South Alabama, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Georgia State.

Troup head coach Tanner Glisson has advised Thrash that signing with a program that isn’t considered to be a high-profile one isn’t a bad thing.

“He’re what I’ve preached to Jamari. It’s OK to be a big fish in a small pond,” Glisson said. “You’re getting a $250,000 scholarship. You’re going to be developed. You’re playing big-boy football. It’s about finding that right fit.”

Troup’s other two preseason all-state players are on the defensive side of the ball.

King Mwikuta and Joko Willis will play defensive end, and they’ll create plenty of headaches for opposing offenses.

With Andy Boykin and Kaliff Thornton anchoring the interior of the defensive line, Troup could have one of the state’s best defensive fronts.

“We’re not going to flip-flop them,” Troup head coach Tanner Glisson said. “We’re going to say you man this side, and you man this side.

“And we’re going to try to box everything in. That’s where it starts. And then up front, you’ve got a lot of meat.”

Mwikuta and Willis are both two-year starters, and they had productive junior seasons.

Both men have numerous offers from major college programs, and while Mwikuta has verbally committed to Alabama, Willis is still exploring his options.

In an indication of their value to the team, Willis and Mwikuta have also been working on offense in the preseason.

“We’ll get King Mwikuta on the field at tight end and let him catch the ball,” Holt said. “And he can go out and down block.”

As for Willis, Glisson said there’s little he can’t do on a football field.

“I’m not so sure he’s not the most talented person on our football team,” Glisson said. “He can run, he can jump, he can throw a football 70 yards.”

Mwikuta, who is slated to play linebacker in college, was receiving college offers before he’d played his first high-school down.

Mwikuta hasn’t let the hype go to his head, and he has worked to develop into an elite player.

“It’s how hard you want it,” Mwikuta said. “Are you going to work for it, or be average.”